CARMEL, Ind. — Hoosier natives Mary Leppert and Samantha Larkins have always had a passion for jewelry. But when it came time to open their own store, they decided to put their business to the test by opening their first location in Denver, Colorado, back in 2016.
“We wanted to see if we could really start a store on our own without our comfort zone of Indianapolis clients… So we started with six designers out there in a small 500-square-foot space,” said Leppert.
After finding great success in Denver, the two business owners knew it was time to bring Metalmark back home to Indiana.
So in October of last year, the second Metalmark location officially opened its doors at 211 W. Main Street Suite #100 in the heart of Carmel’s Arts and Design District.
As you walk by, you can’t miss it. Just look for their floor-to-ceiling windows and a sign near the doorway that reads, “Sparkly Things Inside.”
Clearly, we had to go check it out.
Leppert says she knew Carmel was the perfect place to grow.
“I just kept hearing of what was happening and all of the restaurants and businesses that were coming to this area and we wanted to be a part of that and we knew it was something really special that was happening,” she said. “It was not the same Carmel that I grew up with.”
It also helped that Metalmark Fine Jewelry had already built up quite a fan base in the area.
“We were doing trunk shows here — one or two per year—and they were packed. So we just kind of knew there was a need for us or a want for us,” Leppert said.
For any first timer, the fine jewelry buying experience can be a bit intimidating. But Leppert hopes the design of the space and approachability of the staff will help all their customers feel at ease.
“We know that people get intimidated by that but we’re really hopeful that the big floor-to-ceiling windows would allow people to see that it’s a really cool and hopefully inviting store,” she noted.
In designing their Carmel store, they intentionally created a space featuring a kitchen and living room-like setting so it would literally feel like home.
“The whole point was everyone loves to go in someone’s house and they congregate around the kitchen… so we really wanted them to feel like they could be comfortable sitting down and can just one-on-one educate them,” she said.
During our visit, Leppert educated us on some of the biggest trends in jewelry right now.
Turquoise and moonstones, stackable rings, solitaires and oval diamonds are all more popular than ever.
But if you’re really looking for something truly unique, check out their rustic diamonds.
“People want a bigger look that has a really cool sense of style. So you might wear [a rustic diamond] as a right hand ring. You might use it as an engagement ring. You might put it as earrings, you know, whatever you like,” Leppert explained. “ It’s just a cool look for someone that really wants something different.”
Plus, they’re virtually a fraction of the price of a traditional-cut diamond.
“You could get a 2 carat look for $6,500 versus $12,000-$15,000. So yeah, basically half the price,” she said.
Another trend is taking old jewelry and reinventing it.
“One of the designers we have been working really well with is Jade Trau and she’s done a great job of putting a modern twist on jewelry… Maybe taking a classic Riviera and setting it in yellow gold just for kind of a different look,” Leppert said.
Another example of the trendy-yet-timeless selection of reinvented jewelry are the watches by La Californienne, who refurbish old Rolex and Cartier watch faces and pair them with customizable, interchangeable, hand-painted leather straps.
“You can customize the watches however you want… If you want to go a little neutral with a white face and pink accents or blue accents on the hands, you can. And you can totally customize the strap too,” she said. “People can make it as fun and as loud or as soft and neutral as they want.”
“It kind of goes along with the theme of something traditional or classic but with a cool twist on it. And that’s kind of like us and that’s what the store is like.”
Although Metalmark is thriving both here in Carmel and out in Denver, Leppert and Larkins are still dedicated to trying to be as local as possible when it comes to carrying Indy-area designers like SarahBeth Vaughan, Katherine & Josephine, Sawa bags and Larkin’s own line called Samantha Louise.
“We try to stay small and we probably only have two or three [designers] that are maybe a bit bigger but we really seek to find something unique that you won’t find in another store,” said Leppert. “We’re a locally-owned store, so we want to support local too.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Metalmark Fine Jewelry:
- Metalmark Fine Jewelry is owned by longtime friends Mary Leppert and Samantha Larkins. The Indiana natives wanted to challenge themselves to go outside their comfort zone by opening their first location in Denver in 2016. Thanks to their success out in Colorado as well as their large fanbase in Indiana, they knew it was time to open their next location back home. They did just that and officially opened their Carmel location in October of last year.
- Metalmark doesn’t only sell fine jewelry. Leppert says they aspire to be a one-stop-shop for all kinds of gifts, offering everything from leather bags by Sawa to candles and fashion jewelry that starts as low as about $60.
- Metalmark is a locally owned business that is serious about supporting other local businesses and artisans. They carry many local designers like SaraBeth Vaughan, Katherine & Josephine, Samantha Louise and leather bags by The Sawa Shop..
- They love to partner with other local businesses and charities like the Little Wish Foundation for some fun in-store events, so keep your eye on their social media for info. Need some style inspiration? Just check out the blog section on their website!
For more information about Metalmark Fine Jewelry, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them via Facebook and Instagram.
While in Carmel, check out these other hot spots also located in the Arts and Design District: